Instead of trucking livestock to processing facilities, mobile processing allows for trailers to travel to livestock.
Instead of trucking livestock to processing facilities, mobile slaughter allows the processing trailer to travel to the livestock, a concept that has potential to localize the food system while being more humane for the animals.
"Providing additional small scale processing with mobile units is an important component in rebuilding local and regional sustainable food systems."
"Providing additional small scale processing with mobile units is an important component in rebuilding local and regional sustainable food systems," stated Mike Callicrate, Ranch Foods Direct Owner.
For many ranchers, there’s little choice for where to sell your cattle if they want to control the distribution or sell the butchered meat themselves.
KRCC’s Noel Black visited a ranch in northwestern Kansas near the Colorado border where a small group of people are taking small steps to change that.
Warning to listeners, some of the sounds and descriptions in this piece are graphic.
Next generation processing trailer loaded with new features
THE SCOOP: Callicrate Cattle Company received its new custom-built meat processing unit last month. “This is a milestone. It’s a state-of-the-art design,” says Ranch Foods Direct owner Mike Callicrate.
“It’s the first of its kind. Many parts on this trailer had never been manufactured before"
THE BACKSTORY: In 2011, Mike’s ranch began processing on-site with a demonstration trailer provided by the Socially Responsible Ag Project. Construction on a new unit started soon after. It contains many revolutionary features, including a hide puller and a section of the processing rail that rotates, making carcass splitting easier. “There’s also lots of interior lighting and two scales measure both live and hot carcass weights.” The trailer has been extended five feet to accommodate a carcass quartering section outside of the cooler and to provide a tight docking seal for loading into the transport trailer. The carcass cooling section is rearranged to be more efficient. A second hoist on the outside of the trailer allows a staging area for hanging up the next animal in line. “With four people, we will be able to slaughter 20 head a day,” he says. “Water use of 32 gallons per head will continue to improve; at the big packing facilities, it’s around 730.”
UP NEXT: Housing it in a new 65x100-ft. building will permit comfortable operation year-round.
RFD 05/16/2011 Press Release (PDF) | NEAC 05/16/2011 Press Release (PDF)
Mobile Meat Processing Informational Videos
Part I: Set-up
Part II: Stunning, Bleeding and Moving
Part III: From Carcass to Cooler
Cowpool.org Promotes Localized Mobile Meat Processing Units'Cow pooling' refers to sharing beef, but we're not talking just any beef. The cow pooling program will market the processing and distribution of local, sustainable and humanely raised beef from a source you can trust.
Mike Callicrate, at his natural meat company Ranch Foods Direct, assures that the Cowpool.org initiative is to foster businesses that benefit both local ranchers and consumers, with processing and distribution systems that provide incomparable quality, wholesomeness, eating satisfaction, and a mutually rewarding relationship of trust and responsibility.
Learn more about Cowpool.org
Mobile Slaughter Units: Reports from the Field and Future Directions
Inspected mobile slaughter units for beef, bison, and other red meat species have been operating for more than a decade. How are they working out? What have we learned? And how might the next generation of MSUs be different?
On this webinar, we heard from seasoned MSU pioneers -- from New Mexico, South Dakota, and Colorado -- about their experiences, lessons learned, and ideas for the future.
General Informational Video
Mike Callicrate with Ranch Foods Direct, Laura Krebsbach with Renewable Harvest and others discuss the process, the strategy and more.
NMPAN Research: Local Meats ProcessingLocal Meat and Poultry Processing: The Importance of Business Commitments for Long-Term Viability
by Lauren Gwin, Arion Thiboumery, and Richard Stillman
Economic Research Report No. (ERR-150) 50 pp, June 2013
Consumer demand for local food, including local meat and poultry, has risen in recent years. To sell meat, farmers need access to appropriately scaled processing facilities with the skills, inspection status, and reliability to prepare these products safely, legally, and to customer specifications. This report explores this multi-faceted problem and identifies fundamental causes
Report Download (PDF: 605 kb)
From Convenience to Commitment: Securing the Long-Term Viability of Local Meat and Poultry Processing by Lauren Gwin, Arion Thiboumery
Report Download (PDF: 5Mb)
Successes and Innovations (Webinar 04182013)
Source: Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network
Ventucci Farm Open House
- 2010 - MMPU at Venetucci Farm Slideshow
- 2011 - MMPU at Venetucci Farm Slideshow
- Inside Ranch Foods Direct's Mobile Meat Processing Unit, by Matthew Schniper on Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 3:06 PM
- Slideshow posted by Matthew Schniper on Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 3:06 PM
- Dozens gather for mobile animal slaughter, by Warren Epstein on Fri, Nov 12, 2010 2010 2:03 PM
Tour a working MMPU
Multiple Species Processing
All facilities meet USDA standards
MMPU Concepts (PDF)
MMPU Technical and Business Feasibility (PDF)
Additional Resources / News
- In rural areas, an opportunity to innovate
- Noel Black of KRCC in Colorado Springs covers the Mobile Meat Processin project.
- Roving slaughter trailers blaze new path for meat processing
- On the road with a slaughterhouse trailer
- USDA more processing needed to fill in gaps
- Renewable Harvest - Mobile Meat Processing Project
- Mobile Slaughter
- Mobile Slaughter Processing Units
- Coast Grown Mobile Unit
- Keeping Beef Local, by Sadie Babits